UNIT 6 A ny qu e stio n s? | 5 7 Look at what these people say about the question and answer session. Which opinion(s) do you agree with? Person l For me, the question and answer session is the most difficult part of a presentation. I don't like it at all. You never know what questions will be asked, so you can't really prepare. I always feel extremely nervous. The problem is you have to say something quickly and don't have the time to think of a clever reply. Person 2 If you ask me, most questions aren't really questions at all. It seems as if a lot of people ask questions not because they want to get an answer but because they want to show the other participants how clever they are or how funny or whatever. I think some people just want to show off or be the centre of attention. Person з / like the way questions are asked by American audiences. My experience is that they usually say something positive about a presentation before they start asking questions. I think that's a very good thing because the questioner shows some respect for the presenter and also helps create a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere during the question period. Person 4 I think it's important to try and predict all the questions you might be asked. Before a presentation I always make a list of questions I expect people to ask. Then I think about possible answers and practise them. Some­ times I even get friends and colleagues to ask me questions. Of course you can't anticipate all the questions but at least you don't need to worry about the ones you have thought about. I feel much more comfortable this way. Person 5 You need to decide when you want to answer questions. Allowing questions during your talk usually creates a rather informal, seminar-like atmosphere. You can answer questions directly and involve the audience. On the other hand, answering questions after the presentation gives you more control of your structure and timing. If you want questions after your talk, you can say that your time frame is very tight or the topic is rather complex. OVER TO YOU Do you usually answer questions during or after your talk? Which do you prefer? What other tips can you think of for preparing for the question period? How often do you present to an English-speaking audience? How different is it from presenting to an audience in your own language?